A police officer patrols at a cordon near a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand. Image Credit: AP

Dhaka: Players and staff of the Bangladesh cricket team which narrowly escaped terror attacks on two New Zealand mosques have returned to Dhaka.

Bangladeshi State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russell and Bangladeshi Cricket Board (BCB) Chairman Nazmul Hasan were present at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to receive the players who arrived here on Saturday night, Xinhua reported.

Upon arrival, Bangladesh Test Captain Mahmudullah Riyad and BCB officials held a press conference and narrated the harrowing experience they had in Christchurch.

The Bangladeshi cricket players were going to one of the mosques to offer Friday weekly prayers when a gunman stormed the mosques and went on a shooting rampage that left 50 people dead and 50 others injured.

The cricketers were later taken back to their team hotel safely.

Following the terror attack, the third and final Test between Bangladesh and New Zealand in Christchurch was cancelled.


Christchurch attack will change fabric of international sports hosting

The Christchurch mass shootings will have far-reaching implications for hosting sporting events in New Zealand and elsewhere, according to New Zealand Cricket CEO David White, who said the impression of the country being a "safe haven is gone".

Attacks on two Christchurch mosques left at least 49 dead Friday, with one gunman -- identified as an Australian -- livestreaming the attack.

The Bangladesh cricket team escaped unhurt despite being in close vicinity of a shooting attack on a mosque but its tour of New Zealand was called off.

"This is shocking. This will change the entire fabric of international sports hosting. I think everything changes now," White was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz.

"We'll certainly be having to look at our security in depth. I think the idea of New Zealand being a safe haven is gone now.

"We now have to be very, very vigilant - all the authorities and sporting organisations, absolutely."

The Bangladesh team's tour was called off after the players had a narrow escape from the attack on a mosque in Christchurch, described as an "unprecedented act of violence" by the country's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

White said, "They're shaken up all right. They're shocked like everyone else. New Zealand Cricket's thoughts were with Christchurch and people affected by the shootings. We are shocked and appalled, as I'm sure all New Zealanders are."

The International Cricket Council had said it "fully supports" the cancellation of the third Test.

"Our thoughts and sincere condolences go out to the families and friends of those affected by this horrendous incident in Christchurch. Both teams, staff and match officials are safe and the ICC fully supports the decision to cancel the Test match," ICC Chief Executive David Richardson had said.